Strategy and Implementation Summary
MyLine has an impressive array of features that will quickly overwhelm the typical prospect, unless the sales presentation is focused on the key features that especially appeal to the particular target market. The feature set is so rich, in fact, that many potential customers have admitted they decided MyLine is too much for their needs, that the system is overqualified. Management has decided to focus on a few features that have the broadest appeal and aggressively market these features to our five target markets.
Management will emphasize speed in penetrating selected markets and implementing advertising and public relations campaigns. Financial results will be compiled and reported weekly so that gross and net margins can be reviewed and benchmarked against the competition. Marketing will be continually monitored and adjusted as needed to maximize market penetration and profitability. Cost control and brand management will be critical to the overall strategy.
5.1 Competitive Edge
One of TeleSpace’s major competitive advantages is its technological lead over the major competitors. None of the incumbent companies has managed to seamlessly integrate the voice, fax, and data communications needed by the target market. At the same time, the company boasts a superior management team with decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. These people have a track record of capitalizing on the technology market and have all the means to make TeleSpace another success.
5.2 Marketing Strategy
The strategy used in the past by GST for MyLine was an evident failure because MyLine was presented as being all things to all people but nothing critical to anyone. Almost no one will use even 90% of the system’s capabilities, so why try to market MyLine that way? The potential market is so huge, segmenting markets AND the Myline feature set would seem a viable marriage and be the foundation for a viable business model. So, for example, marketing the unique 800 number service to several tightly focused market segments such as “soccer moms” and the general military population seems feasible. The former market has a critical need for the 800 service and can be migrated to the long distance services; the latter is a prime mobile market that can be sold MyLine as a unique add-on to their basic service.
MyLine or its predecessors has been available for over a decade. These systems have had limited success in the marketplace but overall have not lived up to their potential and achieved the market penetration they should have. The primary target market has been the so-called “road warrior” as this market is large, well-defined, relatively affluent, and well-educated, the very definition of an early adopter market. MyLine, though, is difficult to understand if the prospect is shown most or all of the features and capabilities at once. To the new and/or unsophisticated user, MyLine is simply overwhelming in its complexity and capability. Any successful marketing strategy must focus on the core features of the system and treat other features as “icing on the cake:” Nice if you can use them but not a reason to buy.
The key to selling MyLine is the ability to identify a singular market and its unique needs, develop channels to these markets, so configure the MyLine system, and market that particular feature set to that market. This strategy has the distinct advantage, critical with a potentially complex product, of a focused and simple sales message.
5.2.1 Promotion Strategy
A company has been retained to coordinate the marketing, advertising and promotion strategy, which will rely heavily on radio and print advertising for MyLine and trade shows for CLEC, carrier, and business prospects. This firm has already begun organizing focus groups to determine the best feature set and pricing for the present MyLine service.
5.2.2 Pricing Strategy
TeleSpace will have the lowest cost structure in the industry, but premium pricing based on its uniquely rich feature set and quality service. The company will be the pricing leader, manage both the TeleSpace and MyLine brands for this identification and do whatever it takes to maintain this leadership. As a well-known telecom CEO once said, being the lowest-cost provider covers a lot of sins. MyLine services will be priced to match significant competitors, such as Pacific Bell or Excel Communications.
5.3 Sales Strategy
Sales strategies will vary depending on the target market and the result of focus group marketing research currently underway, managed by our marketing relations firm in Silicon Valley. Trone Miller and Matt van Steenwyk will present to close carriers, CLECs, and corporate prospects identified from personal contacts and trade show leads. The marketing firm is also developing the sales strategy for the consumer markets, which will rely heavily on radio and print advertising.
5.3.1 Sales Forecast
The sales forecast for the first three years, beginning with the July first fiscal year, is shown in the following table. Even if this forecast is achieved, the company will still have less than one percent of market share. There is substantial room for high sales growth and industry competition.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Sports Mom Toll Free||$210,000||$10,100,000||$30,300,000|
|Domestic Travelers/Calling Cards||$42,550||$1,300,000||$5,600,000|
|Direct Cost of Sales||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Sports Mom Toll Free||$0||$0||$0|
|Domestic Travelers/Calling Cards||$0||$0||$0|
|Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales||$0||$0||$0|
5.3.2 Sales Programs
TeleSpace will utilize five primary sales programs:
- Direct Sales: This will be done by the CEO, Director of Marketing and Sales Channel Managers, all of whom have extensive contacts in the industry and have already been invited by several key prospects to present MyLine and other company services.
- Radio advertising: This will be the main entree to the consumer market, which the company will approach on a target market basis. Personal endorsements by celebrities will be emphasized.
- Print advertising: This will be used primarily for MyLine and placed in magazines and newspapers targeted to amateur sports and military officers and enlisted personnel, probably with endorsements by our contracted endorsers.
- Trade shows: Will be used to promote MyLine, mostly to businesses, CLECs, and small carriers.
- Web advertising: The company is now developing ads to be run on customer websites of its sister company, AdCast, Inc., which markets advertising delivery systems for the Internet.
The following table lists important corporate milestones, with completion dates, budgets and responsible executive for each. This milestone schedule indicates our emphasis on planning for implementation.
|Milestone||Start Date||End Date||Budget||Manager||Department|
|Retain IBW Company||11/1/1999||11/1/1999||$10,000||Matt||Sales|
|Set up focus group program||12/1/1999||12/1/1999||$10,000||Matt||Marketing|
|Secure equity funding||12/31/1999||12/31/1999||$50,000||Phil||Finance|
|Hire initial employees||1/1/2000||1/1/2000||$1,000||Betty||Admin|
|Complete trade secrets/patent review||1/1/2000||1/1/2000||$5,000||Trone||Corporate|
|Implement advertising program||11/15/1999||11/15/1999||$20,000||Matt||Marketing|
|Retain Rob Dunaway||9/1/1999||9/1/1999||$5,000||Phil||Corporate|
|Retain Alliance Ventures Group||11/15/1999||11/15/1999||$0||Phil||Corporate|
|Secure/equip MyLine network||9/15/1999||9/15/1999||$1,000||Russ||Operations|
|Finalize buyout agreement||10/31/1999||10/31/1999||$0||Trone||Corporate|
|Close strategic investor||12/15/1999||12/15/1999||$0||Phil||Corporate|
|Complete MyLine 2000||7/1/2000||7/1/2000||$0||Russ||Corporate|